I still remember my first prayers when I became a special-needs dad. For the longest time I prayed, “God please heal my son and take away his special needs.”
Simple, but fervently and earnestly, I would beg, plead, and petition God every night.
As my son got older I found my prayers for him began to change. I still prayed for his healing, but as he grew older and his needs became more profound, my prayer focus shifted.
“God, please let me live just one day longer than my son.”
I think every father of a child with profound special needs has uttered that same prayer.
When we moved into our current house, we hung a picture on the wall of his room that had caught my attention. It’s a picture of a warrior-type angel standing post at night over a child’s bed.
I love that picture and the imagery it depicts. But there’s a problem with that picture.
That angel is standing my post.
One of the most important responsibilities of any parent is standing post, praying over his children. Nowhere do the five roles of a special-needs dad converge more than when he is praying for his child. Warrior, protector, provider, encourager, and equipper. The five purposes of a special-needs dad to his family. The five roles he fulfills simultaneously when he prays for his family.
A dad’s strength isn’t found in his arms or even his muscles. You’ll find his true strength in knees, and how much time he spends on them praying for his family.
This is your post dads. This is where the fight for your family occurs. This is the front line and the trenches for the battle for your family.
Stand guard diligently every night over your family. Fight for them like a warrior in prayer, protect them through the power of prayer, and ask God to provide all their needs. Continue in prayer asking God to affirm their purpose and for him to encourage them through his grace and love. Finally, ask God to equip you and your kids with all you need to bring him glory and honor through your lives.
Don’t know how to start? Just remember your job: warrior, protector, provider, encourager, and equipper. Let your prayers flow out of those areas and needs.
If you want to be the spiritual leader of your house, lead by setting the example through your prayer life. It may be the most important thing you do for your family all day.
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
James 5:16b NLT
The dad who doesn’t pray for his family has deserted his post. He has abandoned his responsibilities and gone AWOL.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.
He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8 NLT
Time to report for duty dads. Stand your post.
How effectively and often do you pray over your family and your children? Where do you need to improve your efforts?
By Jeff Davidson
Husband to Becky, Father of one
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Rising Above Ministries
Author of No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches: a father, a son with special needs, and their journey with God